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Mostrando entradas de 2019

Off-Road trips Iran

If you are looking to go off road in Iran and have your own vehicle or want to hire a four wheel drive 4WD vehicle in Iran with or without a driver then please write to or send a message to +989371501993

Google currency converter and the Iranian Rial

If you plug in 1 USD and convert it into the Iranian Rial using this application from Google you will get something like 42000 Rials.
This exchange rate is not what you would get in Iran.
You would get over twice as much these days something like 120000 Rials or 12000 Tomans.
Why? Because this is the official exchange rate i.e exchange rate for the Government organizations and related businesses to import and export and there is the parallel exchange rate.
The parallel exchange rate is still legal. It is for ordinary Iranians and tourists alike to buy and sell non Iranian currency.
Where do you exchange to get this rate? In most banks, bureau de change, hotels etc.

Ramadan in Iran

In the holy month of Ramadan, if you are travelling in Iran, note that you may not eat and drink in public in the hours of daylight. If you are trekking then it is fine to do so in the mountains but clearly you should avoid doing this in settlements.
Restaurants are usually closed but there will be some open to cater for travellers, Iranians and tourists alike. The problem is to identify which is open as they tend to cover their windows so that passersby do not get a glimpse of people eating inside or put a sign up in Farsi announcing their business as usual.
Intercity buses will make the usual stop on the way for passengers to eat and drink.

Ski and Snowboarding in Iran

Leave your prejudices where you live and come skiing in Iran !

Yes, we have ski resorts and when people are busy skiing in Iran,   many European resorts  are waiting for their first snowfall ! 
Besides, you pay embarrassingly little to ski in Iran.
Here you have a list of all the ski resorts close to Tehran:
1. Tochal Ski resort, this is the highest ski resort in Iran. It starts close to the summit at 3850m and is some 1200m long. It is skiable for almost 8 months of the year! It is a short car drive from central Tehran.
2. Dizin, arguably the best ski resort in Iran,  it is situated deep in the central Alborz range with spectacular views of the Alborz summits such as Alam Kooh and Mount Damavand. It is a 3 hour drive from the capital. There are 7500m of ski pistes from 3600 m down to 2650m of altitude.
3. Darband Sar is 50KM north of Tehran. It is a good resort for experienced skiers.
4. Abali Ski resort is on the eastern part of the city and is one of the oldest …

Swimming in the Caspian Sea

Unless you have been to other Islamic countries, you may be surprised to see the beach culture in Iran. However, like most things there is a hidden side to what you first see.

be informed that most Iranians use the Caspian beaches for picnicking.

Women swim with their clothes on. There are segregated beaches for men and women alike but they are not that popular. These beaches that are segregated are done so by curtains.

Those that have a boat go deep and swim freely.

Others use private and or isolated beaches although these are very far and few in between.

There are no restrictions for men. Men swim with their swimming trunks or shorts and that is it.

Water skiing is popular in the Caspian sea so is jet ski.

If you were wondering whether it was at all worth going for a swim you should not think twice. The waters of the Caspian are among the best swims in the world. There are no strong currents if the sea is calm, the water temperature is pleasantly warm in the summer and its low salin…

Scuba diving Iran

There are two seas in Iran. The Caspian sea and the Persian Gulf. There is no scuba diving in the Caspian sea. There is, however, good scuba diving in the Persian Gulf. One of the nicest islands is Hormoz. Kish and Qeshm are popular with Iranians but Hormoz is wilder and less visited.

You may travel to the islands by ferry from the southern ports such as Bandar Abbas. You may prearrange your scuba activities or simply turn up in the hope the sea is good and the water is clear.

Enjoy Iran !!

Trek sharing in Iran

For me, it is a challenge to link people up for a trek. Most of my clients are independent travellers who have a flexible itinerary and getting someone committed to a particular date is time consuming, as a result it would be best I think for potential trekkers to communicate among themselves and come up with a fixed date. I am happy to advise and design a trek and carry it out once there is a committed team of trekking partners.

Here is one way you may find your partner and then get in touch with me.

Which VPN ?

Whilst travelling in Iran you may need to use a VPN to access your Face Book or Telegram etc.
Two commonly used VPNs are the Psiphon and Freegate.
It is advisable to install them before travelling.
Happy travelling !!

Trekking in Jiroft area, the "birth place" of civilization

I visited Jiroft some 20 years ago and on that occasion stayed on a remote farm house with a spectacular view over the mighty Jabal Barez Mountain range. The orangery belonged to Mr Tavakoli, the grand feudal of the region who happened to be the father of Shifteh, an old friend from London. For a week I went hiking and swimming in the pool of the local Qanat.

This week I talked to this friend and we have come up with a spectacular hiking route, this time through the Jabal Barez Mountain range and the summer villages. For this exploratory trip I may be able to take along a couple or 3 travellers to cover the cost of the trip.

We will link up with Shifte's family in Jiroft and hike the area over a few days.

We would also visit Konar Sandal one of the birth places of civilization from the Bronz Ages as well as other attractions of the area.
Jiroft civilization came to light in 2001 after broken pottery were discovered after a heavy flood of Halil Rood. Jiroft civilization is now beli…

Infrastructure in the Iranian Mountains

Basically there is none.
If you come from say Norway which sounds like the exact opposite with well stocked refuges then this is the other extreme and you are in for a surprise.

Even the most famous summits like Damavand and Alam Kooh do not have the refuges that they should. The conditions in Bargah Sevvom are poor to say the least with primitive washing facilities and much trash. Sarchal refuge is a little better.

The locals providing mule services for such popular summits are not trained in tourism, they are often rude and aggressive with the guides and the energy is naturally picked up by tourists alike.

The 4 wheel drivers who have the permit from the authorities to drive you up to the trail head are also not courteous and often argue among themselves for passengers.

So if you are not too bothered about the better known popular summits, at least from the usual sides of the climb then you may wish to consider lesser known summits of which there are hundreds in the Alborz mountain …